1980. 39 years ago. It is time for West Ham United to take the cup competitions seriously and rekindle the spark and magic that the FA Cup final against Arsenal provided for the fans.
West Ham marched into the third round of the Carabao Cup after a routine performance against League Two side Newport County and the Hammers faithful will be hoping to see Manuel Pellegrini’s side take the competition seriously.
A trip to Oxford United awaits for the Hammers in the third round of the competition and, realistically, should progress into the last 16.
The Irons came ever-so-close to winning the FA Cup in 2006, but the less said about that afternoon the better. I’m pretty sure most West Ham fans still have nightmares of that Steven Gerrard strike today.
But things are on the up for the east London club. Pellegrini’s appointment in 2018 coupled with two large-spending transfer windows has massively improved the complex of the squad – and most importantly, the depth.
If you want to progress far in the cup competitions, it is imperative that you have the players available to do so. Right now, it feels like West Ham have good enough strength in depth to mount a serious challenge, and it’s exciting.
The Hammers have won the FA Cup three times in their history, but never the League Cup. A humiliating FA Cup exit to AFC Wimbledon last season should kick the players into life whenever the tricky matches against lower league opposition come to the surface, and a professional 2-0 win against Newport was encouraging.
West Ham’s play-off final win over Blackpool in 2012 remains one of the greatest memories in my lifetime, for sure. But what does that say about our feat in cup competitions?
Time for #WembleyWednesday
Ricardo Vaz Te’s late winner for West Ham against Blackpool to win the Championship play-off Final (2012).
What a day for the Hammers. pic.twitter.com/BAdA6YUAUl
— Footy Limbs (@FootyLimbs) August 28, 2019
Now is the time to start rectifying that, and now is the time to create history. Since the switch to London Stadium, there has been nothing but negative connotations and disappointing results; winning a trophy would certainly be a start.
We moved to Stratford to compete with the big boys, yet achieving a 10th-place finish is the best we have mustered up thus far.
But I do sense the tides are turning and we have a real shot of going far in the cup competitions this season.
If you were to ask a West Ham fan whether they would want to finish in the top four or lift a trophy, the majority would opt for the latter option. The Hammers faithful, despite being deprived of cup glory for 39 years, remain passionate, loyal and most importantly, hopeful.
Mark Noble is reaching the end of his career in east London as a player and I don’t think there would be many sights better than seeing him lift the League or FA Cup. The waterworks would certainly filter across east London, that’s for sure.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have dominated the Carabao Cup over the past couple of years, lifting the trophy back-to-back after triumphing over Chelsea and Arsenal. In fact, they have won the competition three times in the past four seasons – overcoming that obstacle poses to be a real difficulty.
But that’s the beauty of the cup. You simply never know. There are set to be plentiful surprises in the League Cup this season and there is a chance for the Hammers to strike gold – 39 years of digging has been to no prevail, but that could all change over the next few months…